Low impact cardio is a form of exercise that increases your heart rate while minimizing the amount of pressure, stress, and impact on your joints. It is much gentler on your joints then high-impact exercises like running or jumping squats that put great pressure and impact on your knees and joints.
Low impact cardio can be done at home, in the gym, or outside and is a good alternative for someone who needs to give their joints a break, but still want to work out.
Below are some great low-impact exercise options to raise your heart rate and improve your cardio fitness and overall health:
- Walking: walking is the best form of low-intensity exercise because you can do it almost anywhere, you set your own pace, and it is perfect for all fitness levels. You can improve your motivation by walking with a friend or partner, and you can increase the intensity by walking up-hill or speeding up your pace.
- Swimming: swimming is a great low-impact exercise that gets your heart rate going while strengthening the muscles throughout your entire body. This is often recommended for seniors or as a part of physical therapy for certain injuries.
- Rowing: Whether you use an actual boat or a rowing machine, rowing is another low-impact exercise that gives you a full body workout. Rowing is a good workout suitable for all fitness levels. You will surely feel it in your feet, arms, core and legs, but it helps you build strength and endurance over time.
- Elliptical: this is a perfect option for someone who loves to run but cannot handle the impact and pressure directly on their knees and joints as mentioned before. The elliptical is a stationary machine that mimics the movement of running, gives a full body workout, targeting and building strength in your legs and arms, while you use your feet and arms to keep the machine moving.
- Cycling: Whether using an actual bike, a stationary bike at home or at the gym, cycling will get your heart rate up and have virtually no impact on your joints. Cycling is great because you set your own pace, speed, and intensity. If your commute to work isn’t too far you can consider cycling as a means of transportation.
Everyone should consider adding some form of low-impact exercise to their daily routine, it allows you to reap the benefits of cardio without placing stress on your joints or knees.